Location: Mount Vernon, Mo.
Owners: Dean and Terri Woody
History: “I started repairing boots 26, 27 years ago as a hobby,” Dean said. “I just wanted something to do.”
Dean said the shop he was working at closed, so he began working on his own.
Products and Services: “We will make anything out of leather, as long as it’s legal and ethical,” Dean said. “We make holsters, purses, breast collars, rebuild and fix saddles, repair boots, put zippers in coats, purses, you name it.”
While the craftsmanship and detail of items are important to Dean and Terri, each item must be functional, especially equine items.
“I team rope and work a lot around a lot of rodeo associations, and we’ve got breast collars all over Southwest Missouri that are still in use,” Dean said.
Custom boot orders are a specialty for Rockin D Leather.
“We make a right boot and a left boot,” Dean explained. “We don’t build just a pair of boots because 99 percent of people, their right foot and left foot are not the same size. I make them to fit the left foot and right foot. Boots are build from specs that the customer wants; a square toe, round toe, pointed toe, a 10-inch boot, or an 18-, 19- or 20-inch boot, we can build it. We have boots in Yorktown, England to San Antonio, Texas; Center City, Neb., to Nashville, Tenn. I just love making boots. The most enjoyment I have ever got was a 95-year-old customer who is in a nursing home and his son asked if I could make him a pair of shoes. We went and measured him and we delivered them to him on Christmas Eve at 6 o’clock that evening. They were just plain shoes, nothing fancy; just black shoes. That 95-year-old man smiled like a kid on Christmas morning. That’s special.”
Dean added that in addition to traditional leather, items are made from ostrich, wild hog and elephant, which are the most popular.
“What we can use is pretty unlimited,” Dean said.
Terri does all of the beadwork for Rockin D Leather, and said she is kind of like Dean’s nurse.
“I do the grunt work,” she said with a laugh. “I clean the saddles, do the grunt work and hand him the tools.”
Business Philosophy: “We want to have fun and make the customers happy,” Dean said. “We want to put a good product out, something that someone is going to come in and pay for and be proud of what they got.”
“We also want to be proud of the products we made; and be proud to put our name on it,” Terri added.
“It’s right or it’s wrong, there is no OK; it’s right or wrong,” Dean said. “I have made some boots, have some trouble and cut them up and start again because they aren’t right. My grandmother said years and years ago, if you have a job worth doing, it’s worth doing right. It’s just something that sticks with you.”